Sick of reading and rereading the various classroom and school rules, I wanted to dive into some mathematics lest I drive myself and my kids totally nuts. So I decided to use Christopher Danielson's Tootsie Roll-sharing problem from his #TMC13 presentation, along with some of his "fun facts" background, as a first math day diagnostic activity and as a platform for introducing my new norms and rubric for collaboration.
Even though I felt like I was just throwing together a slide show launch during my first-period prep, it worked incredibly well!
Here it is in a nutshell:
• Visualize a 6-ootsie Tootsie
• Now imagine 4 kids who want to share it equally and completely.
• Can your group come up with AT LEAST TWO WAYS to accomplish this?
Both the 8th graders and the 6th graders had a lot of pretty deep conversations about whether you were thinking of sharing it in terms of number of ootsies or in terms of parts of a Tootsie. Wholes and parts, plus funny-sounding words and the chance to introduce the word synecdoche.
One of the nicest things about doing this was that it helped a lot of kids see that "complicated" and "deeper" are not necessarily the same thing.
What's not to like?